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ATI Technologies said on Thursday it supplied the majority of discrete graphics processing units in 2004, both discrete and mobile. The company says its share and shipments growth continues.

“With a virtual clean sweep of OEM PCI Express designs on desktop and notebook PCs, ATI continues to lead the market for discrete graphics,” said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, PC Business Unit, ATI Technologies.

Sources familiar with the recent Mercury Research numbers said ATI supplied 51% of desktop standalone visual processing units, not very significantly above the number of the rival NVIDIA Copr., and 72% of mobile graphics chips. However, recent quarters demonstrated NVIDIA gaining over ATI in the high-end due to lower-than-desired availability of the RADEON X800-series. But ATI believes it will tackle the problem in future.

“In addition, we’ve ramped volume production of the RADEON X800 XL and RADEON X850-series to put ATI in the best position to increase performance and market share leadership for high-end DirectX 9 graphics processors,” Mr. Bergman added.

During the Q4 2004 notebook graphics shipments were growing faster than desktop graphics shipments in both discrete and integrated segments. However, growth in standalone components – such as ATI RADEON and NVIDIA GeForce – for desktops was 13% quarter-over-quarter, which allowed both ATI and NVIDIA to enjoy high demand for their products.

Without surprises Intel Corp. maintained its leadership position in the graphics market in the fourth quarter of 2004. ATI Technologies managed to stay flat with the previous quarter on the level of 27%, while NVIDIA Corp. managed to increase its share by 3 points to 18%. Other providers, namely S3 Graphics, XGI Technologies, Matrox, etc., stayed relatively flat with the previous quarters. Overall market share reflects companies’ success in various market segments, including discrete and integrated graphics solutions for desktops and notebooks.

In desktop discrete market ATI Technologies slipped 4 points to 51% from 55% in Q3 2004. NVIDIA, in contrast, managed to increase the market share towards mid-forties, noticeably up from the previous quarter.

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